Rather than being perceived as professionals to be valued alongside a vet, or a farrier, dealers are often as mistrusted as a used car salesman.

It’s not surprising they have a bad name when some dealers pose as private sellers on the internet and dupe horse owners into believing they are buying a family-owned horse. In reality, they probably bought the horse the week before at a local auction.

This type of dealer blights the horseworld and there seems to be little in law to stop them.

Journalist Shirley Lewis speaks to both bona fide dealers and clients, explores how to make sure you pick the right dealer. Word of mouth and a good local reputation are key.

Good dealers

  • Will often let you take a horse/pony on trial
  • Will have a vested interest in helping you buy the right horse
  • Will have a reputation to protect

Bad dealers

  • May pose as private sellers on the internet
  • May be uncontactable after a sale
  • May misrepresent a horse’s history

Read the full feature in the current issue of Horse & Hound (11 October, ’07) on sale now